You’ve saved for the trip of your dreams and are all set to go. But, there are always a few things to consider before you depart, and unfortunately it falls onto – finances.
Knowing the limits of your expenses and sticking to that can make all the difference in having a trip from hell and one that is filled with a lifetime of memories.
Below are my top five tips for helping things to run smoothly whilst on your travels:
Know your budget (and have an emergency fund/ contact, just in case)
If your habits are anything like my own, it can be easy to see something that you really want whilst abroad. Yet I have so many things that I have purchased, taken home and then realised that I have absolutely no use for it whatsoever. Being disciplined with your budget and what you can stretch to (within reason) is always key to being able to enjoy the trip stress-free.
Have a good travel insurance policy in place
Travel insurance is one of those things that we can all fall foul of forgetting to arrange – yet it’s as vital as the holiday itself. I’ve been on a trip where we unfortunately have needed to consult insurers following the hospitalisation of a friend on a moped in Thailand. Don’t take the risk. Have insurance that is applicable to your destination and covers the activities that you plan to take part in e.g. Skiing, jet-skiing etc.
Contact your bank to tell them that you will be abroad and for how long
On a couple of occasions, I’ve fallen foul of telling my bank that I’m away. They put a ‘freeze’ on my card, I have no access to money. Luckily, on each occasion I have been able to make a quick call and it is quickly resolved but it is avoidable by calling to tell them beforehand. Even if, like me, you travel with a specific travel credit card, the same rules apply.
Ensure that expenses at home are covered
Unfortunately, when we leave home for short or extended periods of time, the rent, bills and all of those other – tiresome – costs have to be taken care of. Make sure that you have enough money put aside to cover your costs, if away for an extended time then perhaps consider taking on a lodger.
Be clear on your mobile phone usage, roaming costs and phone settings
When abroad, it’s easy to forget that whilst receiving a text message is free of charge, replying can cost considerably more than at home. As for phone calls, typically it will cost you to answer and make calls, both locally (in the country) and to back home. Depending on how long you will be there, it might be worth considering buying a mobile SIM card from the local country or checking with your provider before leaving about the costs to avoid unexpected surprises! This also applies to roaming costs, check the cost. I cannot stress enough just how expensive it can be otherwise. An alternative, is to connect to WiFi whilst away if you really need an internet connection. (N.B. It’s a holiday, don’t be afraid to switch off altogether!)
Do you have any other tips that you can add for looking after the pennies whilst away from home?